A Brief History of Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya
The party was founded at the religious sanctuary of Montserrat on November 15th 1974, at a semi-clandestine meeting, organised by Miquel Sellarès i Perelló i Miquel Esquirol i Clavero and took advantage of the 75th anniversary celebrations of FC Barcelona.
The meeting was attended by 125 people, including independent professionals as well as trades unionists and religiously-inspired Catalanists close to Unió.
At the meeting, Jordi Pujol defined the term fer país (literally, make country) as the idea of creating a Catalan collectivity by reforming the Catalan language, promoting the culture, reaffirming the traditions and creating a new economic mentality.
In 1975, Jordi Pujol gave a speech at ESADE, which was attended by many of his supporters and in June the formation joined the Assemblea de Catalunya, the anti-Francoist alliance, which had formed a few years earlier.
CDC held its Second assembly in November 1975, where the party made a pact with Convergència Socialista de Catalunya in order to have more strength in negotiations with the Spanish State and in December 1975, CDC joined the Consell de Forces Polítiques de Catalunya or the Council of Political Forces of Catalonia.
On January 16th 1976, Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya was constituted as a political party by combining Jordi Pujol’s Grup d’Acció al Servei de Catalunya, Miquel Roca i Junyent’s Grup d’Independents as well as the group Acció Obrera.
In March, the formation held its Third assembly, which passed a centre-left programme of social democracy and nationalism and Jordi Pujol was elected Secretary General with Miquel Roca as Vice Secretary.
At the Fourth congress in January 1977, Convergència decided to stand in the Spanish General Elections of June 1977 as part of the coalition Pacte Democràtic per Catalunya together with Ramon Trias Fargas’ Esquerra Democràtica de Catalunya (EDC) and Josep Verde i Aldea’s PSC-Reagrupament and with support from Front Nacional de Catalunya and Estat Català.
The coalition won 522,060 votes, which meant 11 deputies and 5 senators and Jordi Pujol and Pere Pi-Suñer joined the Executive Council of the Provisional Generalitat led by Josep Taradellas, who had returned from exile.
In April 1978, the Fifth congress was held at which its centre-left nationalist position was reaffirmed and Esquerra Democràtica de Catalunya merged with CDC, which meant that Ramon Trias Fargas, Macià Alavedra and Joan Guitart joined the party.
PSC-Reagrupament decided to merge with PSC-Congrés to form the Partit dels Socialistes de Catalunya (PSC-PSOE).
On September 19th 1978, CDC came to an agreement with Unió Democràtica de Catalunya to form the Convergència i Unió (CiU) coalition, which became a federation on December 2nd 2001.
CiU won the elections to the Parliament of Catalonia of 1980 and remained in office in the Generalitat of Catalonia until 2003.
Miquel Roca i Junyent participated in the drafting of the Spenish Constitution of 1978, which he considered work in progress requiring further ammendment.
In the Spanish General Elections of 1979, the CiU coalition won 484,154 votes, which meant 8 deputies and a senator, and in the 1982 general elections increased to 772,673 votes, which meant 12 deputies and 5 senators.
At the Seventh Congress in 1985, a new strategy was approved and Miquel Roca founded the Partido Reformista Democratico, which would stand at a Spain-wide level.
Howeber, PRD was a failure and in the Spanish General Elections of 1986, CiU won 1,012,054 votes (18 deputies and 8 senators) whilst PRD only polled 194,538 votes and no seats.
At the 8th CDC Congress, Jordi Pujol was elected President and Miquel Roca as General Secretary of the party until the 9th Congress of 1992.
In 2002, in preparation for Pujol’s retirement, Artur Mas was announced as candidate for the elections to the Parliament of Catalonia in 2003.
CiU won most deputies in the elections of 2003 and 2006 but remained in opposition because a coalition of PSC, ERC and ICV managed to form a Tripart (three party) government on both occasons.
In 2007, Artur Mas initiated a new strategy known as the Casa Gran del Catalanisme, which aimed to bring the different political tendencies of Catalanism together under a single umbrella group.
In the elections of 2010, CiU’s candidate to the Presidency of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Artur Mas, won with a sufficient majority of 62 seats out of 135 to form a government and was invested 129th President of the Generalitat, thanks to a PSC-PSOE abstention in the second round of voting.
In March 2012, Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya held its 16th congress in Reus, and for the first time marked its political objective as “to acieve full sovereignty, our own State”.
A few months later, following the “Catalonia, New European State” demonstration of September 11th, Artur Mas made a final attempt to persuade Spanish President Mariano Rajoy to accept the fiscal pact that had been approved by the Parliament of Catalonia a earlier in the year.
In 2014, after Oriol Pujol i Ferrusola resigned over accusations of corruption, Josep Rull took over the general organisation responsibilities.
Later in the same year, the Pujol Case, in which the former president and Convergència founder admitted to having undeclared money in Andorra, came out into the open.
Jordi Pujol was removed from all official and honorary positions and the new leadership called for a refounding of the party.
On June 18th 2015 Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya announced that Convergència i Unió, the federation it formed with Unió Democràtica de Catalunya, would be separating
On July 20th the party announced that it would be standing for the elections to the Parliament of Catalonia on a pro-independence ticket as part of the Junts pel Sí coalition together with Esquerra Republica, Moviment d’Esquerres and Demòcrates de Catalunya.
CDC is organised into nine territorial federations: Barcelona Ciutat, Comarques de Barcelona, Comarques Centrals, Girona, Catalunya Nord, Comarques de l’Alt Pirineu, Terres de l’Ebre, Lleida and Tarragona.
The party also has a youth section, Joventut Nacionalista de Catalunya (JNC), which was founded in 1980.